Created 6-Jun-14
11 photos

Personal Statement and Observations

Guiding Principle: Laws are mere codification of “Community Standards.” They are not “natural,” and they are not “universal.” They are what we collectively decide or allow our standards to be.

Something I noticed: We have laws (and other community standards) regarding depictions of nude humans, no matter what they are doing, that are far more strictly defined and applied than any similar laws regarding violence.

Many of the proponents of censoring all nudity claim that it is harmful somehow, for children. As if children cared, and did not know that humans like them are naked under their clothes.

The Work is Intended to be, and was originally shown, as interactive works
The group is in essentially two Parts:

PART ONE: there are images that include something that is absolutely prohibited on broadcast television, Facebook, Instagram or Google+, and something else that anyone can see virtually any day or night on any television or social media platform. These were originally printed 48 inches wide and presented in "shadow boxes" with pieces of lexan that could be moved to where an individual view found something objectionable, over which a window cling with the "CENSORED" sign could be placed.

Viewers were ENCOURAGED to find one of the window clings to mark something on each of the images that the viewer believed might be frightening or harmful to children and mark it.

PART TWO: was a small “gallery” of images that (all but one) have been removed, drawn warnings from the social media sites, or are clearly in violation the social media web site “community guidelines.” Viewers were ENCOURAGED to mark the images or parts of images that make them uncomfortable with the CENSORED window clings.

Overall Objective
The objective is to question where these standards are coming from, and what they are really trying to accomplish. The show at the Croatian Cultural Center of Greater Los Angeles was very well received by hundreds of guests as well as at least one newspaper review. I learned some things from the visitors, including that virtually everyone agrees with me, and DISAGREES with what is supposedly our "community standard." So, whose community is it?

A second, but not secondary, objective is to invite a viewer to determine what is objectionable. Our society censors images of the nude human body, which is entirely natural, but lionizes and even laughs at violence and threats of violence. Is this in any way sensible?

Categories & Keywords
Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:censorship, nudity, violence